The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 77 (1999) > Issues > Issue 3 > IT in Engineering Consultancies
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IT in Engineering Consultancies

The use of computers in structural engineering started with large mainframes and was restricted to specific tasks that justified the necessary time and expense. Now, relatively cheap, powerful desktop computers are commonplace in engineering and are having a profound influence on our profession. If computers merely assisted engineers in their traditional roles and offered only stand-alone design tools, their influence would be important but not critical. However, modern developments in software and hardware offer almost limitless possibilities, and the potential for change is enormous. Add the implications of training, manpower levels and the potential for restructuring and it starts to become apparent why an understanding of engineering computing is so important and why some commentators see the digital age as having the same significance for our generation as the industrial revolution had for our forebears. P.J. Gardner